Police: Man Implicates Himself In Deadly Midtown Subway Push
Updated at 12:28 a.m., Dec. 5, 2012
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police said Tuesday night that a suspect implicated himself in a shocking subway pushing incident in Manhattan a day earlier that cost a man his life.
But charges against the suspect — Naeem Davis, 30 — were not expected until Wednesday morning, 1010 WINS reported.
Detectives were still questioning Davis at the Midtown North Precinct on Tuesday night, CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported.
WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports
Ki-Suck Han, 58, of Elmhurst, Queens died Monday around 12:30 p.m. after being hit by a southbound “Q” train at the 49th Street Station, police said.
Police sought information from hundreds of straphangers at the subway station and spent 20 minutes interviewing witness Leigh Weingus.
“It was horrifying, it was terrible. Everyone was running towards the booth…it was right when the Q train was coming,” she told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello, adding those on the platform were yelling to stop the train because of the man on the tracks.
Davis was spotted in Midtown on Tuesday by detectives who recognized him from cell phone video of the moments leading up to the tragedy. Sources told 1010 WINS a man was picked up by police at 49th Street and Seventh Avenue — just steps from the subway station where the shocking episode took place.
Davis was known by some in the area as someone who assisted sidewalk vendors. Others described him as a panhandler who seemed mentally disturbed and was often seen talking to himself, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported. He had shaved off his dreadlocks that he’d had for years, according to a newsstand vendor who spoke to him this morning while she looked at the newspaper.
“I said, ‘This looks like you.’ He said, ‘No, that’s not me,'” said Liz Willis. “I was like, ‘Yeah,’ because I was looking at the news last night, and I recognized him.”
In smartphone video released by police, a man could be seen arguing with the victim, telling him “Take your [expletive] over there, stand on line, wait for the R train.”
Those angry words came from the suspect, but Weingus said he was provoked.
“The victim was going after the suspect, at first…and the suspect was saying ‘Leave me alone, you don’t know me, I don’t know you.'” Weingus said.
Police said things escalated and, as horrified straphangers watched, the suspect forced the victim onto the tracks.
“We have a witness that says there was a shoving, or a push, depends on how you characterize it,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
The victim hit the tracks, then tried to scramble back onto the platform, but was struck and killed by the approaching train. Police said Han’s body was crushed in the narrow space between the train and the platform.
Some have asked why bystanders did not come to Han’s rescue even though witnesses said he tried to get back on the platform.
LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reports
“I don’t know, I wasn’t there, I can’t comment on that. I don’t know how fast the train was coming in,” Kelly said.
The victim was a citizen of Korea living in Elmhurst, Queens with his wife and daughter. Police said he had come to Midtown to renew his passport.
A $12,000 reward was being offered in the case.
Police had said they were planning to have a lineup for witnesses to view the suspect later Tuesday.
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